For various reasons, I've become a fan of Amazon as a place to shop for physical book, so buying Kindle books would be a natural choice.

However, based on my experience with the Kindle app on an Android phone, and other factors, I don't want to use a Kindle or Kindle app as my primary means for reading ebooks. I give Amazon enough information about myself when I shop. Using a product that they own and that has the potential to know everything that I read is just too much.

Can I read Kindle books without Amazon software (for example, on an Android tablet or iPad)? Can I do it legally?

(These may be naive questions. I admit that I am still pretty naive about ebooks.)

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can in theory read Kindle books on almost any other ebook reader or tablet.

However, this requires you to convert your mobi or azw file to other formats, such as epub. There is software for this, but, as you can imagine, you will be breaking the DRM. It is therefore not legal, at least in the United States and presumably other countries where the Kindle is sold. Not a great option!

If you dislike Amazon devices and software, a better option is to buy books in the epub format. These are not sold by Amazon, but you can find them in online stores such as Barnes & Noble. The epub format give you legal access to a far greater range of devices.

  • 1
    Thanks. Just what I wanted to know (but not what I was hoping to learn).
    – Mars
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 5:09
  • @Mars You're welcome. I like your sentence structure. :)
    – zx81
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 5:54
  • 5
    The answer above is not entirely correct. Amazon sells ebooks that have DRM and ebooks that don't have DRM. You can convert ebooks that don't have DRM to epub without breaking any laws in the U.S. It's not always obvious before you buy whether or not a specific book has DRM. As a general rule, if you see this line in the product description, there is no DRM applied to the book: Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 14:35
  • The Barnes and Noble books are also encumbered by DRM, by and large, so its epubs are also locked down to their devices/apps. This is true of most of the epub stores. They all want to lock you into their ecosystems.
    – evilsoup
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 17:52
  • 2
    As far as I understand, purchasing ebooks from publishers can usually get you DRM-free. Also, more importantly, removing DRM does not seem to be illegal, but redistributing the DRM-free version is illegal, according to this. Please note I'm not a lawyer and this comment is not an legal advice.
    – xuhdev
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 2:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.